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ONE CLAIM DROPPED IN RAYTHEON SUIT

TAMPA

St. Petersburg residents who are suing Raytheon over contaminated groundwater dropped one of their claims against the company in federal court Monday.

The attorneys representing property owners decided not to pursue allegations that vapors from contaminated groundwater had seeped into homes, Raytheon spokesman Jon Kasle said.

However, Azalea residents are seeking to have a federal judge grant their lawsuit class-action status, which would allow attorneys to sue and collect damages on behalf of all 1,300 property owners. Raytheon said it will oppose that as a hearing continues this week in federal court.

The plaintiffs' attorneys could not be reached Monday. The source of the contamination is an old factory bought by Raytheon in 1995. Company and state officials knew the contamination was spreading in 1999, but didn't tell residents until 2008. The state is reviewing Raytheon's proposal to neutralize the pollution.

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